London is in a blue mood, it would seem. If the Preen show is anything to go by, inky prints will be all over your wardrobe for Spring / Summer 2012, in sheer fabrics and contrasting prints, and textured designs combining heavy fabrics with sheers to give the illusion of stripes.

The animal kingdom was clearly a big inspiration for Thornton & Bregazzi this season, reptiles to be precise, with everything from dulled-down rainbow snakeskin to bigger, indigo lizard-like prints appearing on a series of just-past-the-knee skirts and dresses, dozens of blouses and plenty of effortlessly slouchy trousers.


And where the fauna finished, the flora began, with the blue-toned snake prints blending seamlessly into a run of bold, large pink-toned florals (graphic roses and fluffy blooms) worn with white separates or in panels on shirts and skirts.


The show ended as it began, back to that deep inky blue, this time in longer lengths, fuller skirts, and slinkier trousers, teamed with white. Lace panels added a romantic feel, and shimmery fabrics brought life to trouser suits and pencil skirts, with exposed midriffs peeking out.

This was a welcome return to London for Preen, who've shown in New York over the last few seasons. They showed how complicated prints work best when they're kept to simple shapes, and no doubt the snakeskin slip dresses will be a huge hit.